Supermodel Christie Brinkley just turned 64 and looks more incredible than ever. And what better way to celebrate than to launch a makeup line? The natural fit after the success of her skin care collection, which she introduced in 2015, Christie always knew a makeup line would be in her future and has been saving up her ideas for years. I sat down with the beauty icon yesterday at HSN where she debuted her new cosmetics—nine products ranging from blush and highlighter to mascara and eye shadow—to get the inside scoop on what inspired the line and all the juicy makeup secrets she relies on to look so gorgeous.
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NewBeauty: When did you know you wanted to launch your makeup line, Christie Brinkley Authentic Beauty?
Christie Brinkley: From the very beginning. I always knew I wanted to do makeup, but I ended up creating my skin care line first. It’s interesting that it worked out this way because in creating the skin care, we really discovered all the different ways you can trick your skin into behaving younger, and then we were able to incorporate that into the makeup. I think if I would have started the other way, I would have just been thinking straight color and not “treatment color,” and adding a treatment factor to our makeup makes it much more modern. For example, in my new foundation [Forever Flawless Professional Finish Foundation], we infused it with IR Defense from my skin care line, which helps protect the skin from infrared radiation that causes skin to age.
Image/ Christie Brinkley Authentic Beauty
NB: How has your more than four decades as a supermodel inspired your makeup?
CB: I’ve learned that when all is said and done, the more natural look is better. You want your makeup to highlight you. One of my neighbors recently said to me, “Your skin looks so great,” and I said, “Oh thank you, it’s my new makeup line.” She looked at me and said, “You have makeup on? I can’t see it!” It’s nice when that happens. A lot of women make the mistake of wanting people to see their makeup instead of seeing them as they really are. When you apply my makeup, you’re giving yourself a very natural, beautiful, glowing look that is going to bring out the best of your features. Of course, if you want a heavier look, you can get that too, by layering and really building it up.
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NB: Did anyone in particular inspire your collection?
CB: Not specifically, but one of my beauty influencers has always been Bobbi Brown, and I used to work with her when she was a makeup artist. I remember being so impressed when she created her first line—I think it was six lipstick colors—and until she came around, lipstick colors seemed very artificial. She added earth tones into the colors, and that was a big lesson for me. You could still have color, but she toned it down in a way that made it more real.
I’m also inspired by my daughters. I’m the mother of a daughter, Alexa, who has beautiful porcelain skin, dark hair and a more exotic look, and Sailor, who everybody calls my mini me, but she’s fairer than I am. I wanted our makeup to be universal and I always had that in mind, but we knew we might not be able to accomplish that right off the bat with this small of a collection. One day, I’d love to be able to appeal to everyone and have a line that recognizes all kinds of beauty and skin tones.
NB: What, in your opinion, is the biggest mistake women make with makeup?
CB: One of the biggest things I’ve been noticing recently, is that women are forgetting the sides of their faces. I think women look straight into the mirror and apply foundation or bronzer in just the center of their faces, but you have to make sure you cover the sides, and your neck and chest. We see each other from all angles, so this is really important. And not just with makeup, but also sunscreen and moisturizer. You have to protect those side areas, and actually, many skin cancers are along the edge of the face near the hairline, and I know many women don’t apply there because they don’t want creams near their hair.
NB: How involved are you in the formulation of the products?
CB: Oh, I’ll send it back all day long until we get it right. Ever since I started modeling, people have asked me, “Do you really use that? Do you really like that or are you just saying that?” I feel very loyal to the women who use my products and follow me on Instagram, and if I put my name on something and recommend they spend their hard-earned dollars on it, I want them to be so happy. I want them to love it and feel great. So if something isn’t quite right, I’ll send it back and say we need to make better. I want to get even more involved with my followers, too, on Instagram stories and such, so I can get their feedback on colors and textures, etc, and open the lines of communication even more. I’m also thinking of getting a YouTube channel so I can show women exactly what I’ve learned and how to use all my products to look and feel more beautiful.
NB: I heard you have a secret concealer trick. Can you fill me in?
CB: I have a concealer trick that I’ve been telling people lately—it’s almost like magic. Use two concealers: one that’s paler than your skin tone and one that’s slightly darker. The paler one (light warm) is my highlighting concealer for that inner crease and at the highest point under my brow, and I also feather it out under my eyes. I sometimes use it near the outer corner of my eyes too near the top of my cheekbones to kind of lift my cheeks up.
I have a little groove under my eye that gets a little blue along the edge, and I pat the darker color (medium warm) on the edge and it disappears. There’s something about the darker shade over the blue that works, and the darker shade over the lighter shade that just makes it seamless. It’s a really good trick—it means less touch-ups throughout the day.
NB: Let’s talk lipstick. How did you choose the three shades in your line and which is your favorite?
CB: I’m really loving the pink lipstick, Charm—I think it makes my eyes look bluer and it’s a really perfect pink.
Image/ Christie Brinkley Authentic Beauty
The second one, Bliss, didn’t seem like a happy color to me at first, but Char, my formulator, told me to trust her on it. It started to grow on me and I think there’s something cool and very useful about it. I’m surprised by how much I actually use it. I also noticed that if I apply it a little bit past the edges of my lip line, it has some major impact on my lips. When I was in the Caribbean over New Year’s, I was wearing it like that and the paparazzi speculated that I got my lips done and said I shouldn’t have done that. I laughed because it was just my lipstick.
The third one, Stunner, is exactly like its name. If I start to feel like I’m fading late in the day, I’ll put some Stunner on at that point, and it just lifts my face and seems to bring everything back up. I kind of save it for those moments—it’s like an instant boost. I love red lipstick, but red can be hard, and believe me, playing Roxie Hart on Broadway, I tried every single red lipstick imaginable. Some of them really do make your teeth look blue, some make your teeth look yellow and some of them are instantly aging. This one is really perfect.
NB: What products do you want to add to the collection in the future?
CB: Makeup brushes are very important and I’m a painter, so that’s something I definitely want to add. We do include a brush with our eye shadow palette and it’s really pretty good and you can do a lot with it. I also use makeup sponges a lot too, so I’d like to add one, and I have an idea for how to improve on it. Lip pencils are important, especially at my age. However, my new lipstick is formulated in such a way that I’m not missing it. It’s funny, but our lipstick is just so good. Eye pencils would be another great addition, and I want to extend the color range of the lipsticks and add different textures, too.
NB: If you could sum up your makeup in one sentence, what would it be?
CB: I hope my line says to women, “You are beautiful, you don’t need to be concealed.” We’re just giving you a little polish.
The new collection is currently available on HSN.com, and will roll out to Amazon.com tomorrow, as well as Kohl’s stores beginning in March.